Soft, tasty and irresistible. This is the way we could describe the meat of fresh, well-prepared shellfish. Have you already tried the best of what Northwestern Istria can offer? I have, and I have done so at the last year’s Days of Seashells, when the art of preparing delicious seafood was demonstrated by the restaurants of Buje, Umag, Novigrad, Brtonigla, Savudrija and Zambratija, places located at the very mouth of the river Mirna, which is famous for its top-notch shellfish. The idea of a lunch whose entire menu features shellfish intrigued me and that is how I found my way to one of the restaurants in Zambratija taking part in the Days of Seashells.
After the first glance at the menu, I was a bit doubtful. A hot & cold shellfish salad as an appetizer? Bruschetti with clam spread?! What was this? Where were the mussels in buzar sauce, baked scallops and all the other shellfish dishes a real connoisseur was accustomed to? And there they were, and all these wonderful, classic dishes did end up on our plates, but I will not be forgetting the hot & cold shellfish salad with queen scallops and pine nuts served on a bed of aurugula any time soon. It was a completely new dish, and a very unusual one and delicious to me. It was also just one of the novel creations I sampled on that day. It showed me that the shellfish are very tasty even when not prepared within the classic combinations that pair them with garlic, olive oil, lemon and wine.
Of course, a good shellfish risotto or pasta will certainly be found on the menus of participating restaurants in this year’s Days of Seashells. From mid-February to the end of March, restaurants are announcing both classic and novel combinations, like those featuring ginger, fennel, celery and pancetta for the Days of Seashells. Visit Northwestern Istria and give your palate an incredible experience!